In 2003 as part of a major curriculum review, the faculty adopted the following statement to clarify the mission of an Austin College education for its students.
An Austin College education transforms the intellectual lives of students as it challenges them to deepen their understanding of social, ethical, and global issues as well as their own place in a rich complex of evolving cultural traditions. Sustained critical inquiry lies at the heart of an Austin College education, enhanced by breadth of experience and focused through in-depth study. The goal is to enable students to develop themselves as productive members of society who can think clearly and critically, understand and respect difference, and express themselves persuasively.
Consistent with the goals of a liberal arts education, Austin College encourages its students to inquire freely, to cross traditional boundaries, and to challenge conventional wisdom while respecting the rights of others. The college seeks to provide an academically challenging and lively community of students and teachers who are committed to intellectual growth through individual and collaborative endeavors. Austin College graduates are prepared for lives of responsible leadership, enhanced by continued learning, and enriched by lasting values.